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Kyphosis and roundback

Chiropractic CHIROfamily

Kyphosis and roundback

Kyphosis is a condition in which your upper spine develops an exaggerated curve that makes your back rounder than usual. It gives you a slouched or hunched-over look. It’s sometimes called “roundback,” or in serious cases, “hunchback.”

Your spine includes 33 bones called vertebrae. Its slight curve helps you stay upright and balanced.

Normally the spine curves between 20 and 45 degrees. With kyphosis, the curve is bigger — more than 50 degrees.

Most of the time, kyphosis doesn’t cause any problems and you don’t need to treat it. Sometimes it’s not even noticeable. Rarely, the curve can be severe enough to cause pain or affect your breathing.

If the curve gets worse, hurts, or makes you uncomfortable with your appearance, your doctor can fix it. The type of treatment you need depends on your age, the kind of kyphosis you have, and how it affects you.

Types of Kyphosis

Kyphosis comes in a few different kinds. The most common ones are:

Postural kyphosis. This type usually develops during the teenage years when kids slouch. The curve disappears when they stand up straight. Postural kyphosis usually doesn’t get worse or cause problems.

Age-related kyphosis. As you get older, the bones of your spine can weaken from osteoporosis, degenerative disk disease, or small fractures. This creates a hunched appearance.

Post-traumatic kyphosis. Fractures to your spine can damage the vertebrae and cause the spine to curve.

Scheuermann’s kyphosis. Normal vertebrae are rectangular. But in this type of kyphosis, they are wedge-shaped. The unusual shape pushes the bones together, which makes the spine curve forward. Scheuermann’s kyphosis usually starts during the teenage years and gets worse over time.

Congenital kyphosis. This type happens when a baby’s spine doesn’t form normally in the womb. The curve gets worse as the child grows.

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